Wheat Pete's Word, Aug 24: Yield estimates, consistency, water movement, and mighty rye


Wednesdays are for Wheat Pete’s Word!

This late August episode of the Word features some yield estimates with a discussion on whether to over- or under-estimate, a first look at fungicide pay-back on wheat, the mightiness of rye in rotation, and why waterhemp is a menace.

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address or some yield results to send in? Disagree with something he’s said? Leave him a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].


  • Low Colorado River levels and extreme drought are plaguing areas of the U.S., but 10″ of rain caused flooding. What gives? It’s all about infiltration!
  • Wet soil actually pulls the water in with capillary action much, much better than baked dry
  • What about soil health? If you had a cover crop on there, if you had some crop there some roots at some earthworm channels, then all of a sudden we get much better infiltration
  • Here in Ontario, we absolutely are at either deluge or drought
  • Incredibly variable rain — isolated drenching
  • At Stratford, in edible beans there’s still two inch wide cracks, it’s been so dry. The edible beans never did close the rows
  • Still reasonably impressed with the pod set on small edible beans that did not close the rows on a year like this
  • Watch the markets!
  • The Pro Farmer tour is ongoing and some of the early yield reports are quite low, that’s enough to add a little bump, if you’re watching
  • Uniform corn crops yield, baby (see image above)
  • Out on the yield tour in Ontario, there’s some estimated 270 bushel per acre corn in Oxford County
  • Let’s talk weed control with Dr. Francois Tardif! He says we need to talk about waterhemp, and he’s right
  • If you have pigweed out in a field that you thought should have been controlled, and it’s not controlled, for goodness sakes, double check that it is not waterhemp
  • That weed scares me like no other weed that I’ve ever seen! It’s prolific, persistent, and expensive to kill
  • Greg Vermeersch tweeted out an awesome picture of the job rye can do on fleabane control (see below)
  • What about triticale? (It’s a cross of rye and wheat). Triticale is about 40 per cent as allelopathic as rye
  • Troubling establishing alfalfa using sorghum as the companion crop. Sorghum is allelopathic to winter wheat and is way too competitive
  • After soybeans, is there time for me to plant rye and get some allelopathic activity? Maybe, but what’s your follow-up crop? Wheat is a no-no
  • For the people that have not done any weed control and wheat stubble, why not? Most people are doing a pretty good job, but there’s ragweed going to seed and sow thistle coming on. Don’t let those plants go to seed.
  • Performance trials at gocereals.ca are still in draft form
  • Some promising varieties showing up, and with moderate resistance to fusarium, excellent standability
  • Always look at fungicide response, too. When conditions are right, it can protect over 20 bushels per acre!
  • Wheat roots in tile has also come up as a side-effect of fungicide use
  • Big biomass above equals big biomass below
  • It’s too late for tar spot to do too much damage, and it’s certainly too late for a spray to pay
  • Tar spot needs leaf wetness, so irrigated corn is higher risk
  • Will there or won’t there be a Wheat Pete’s Word-let? Check back Friday!

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